Saturday, April 9, 2016

Just Bleeping Do It, Part I - PT, Execise, and PD

Dear Mr. Angler,

I'm writing today to remind you (me) of some stuff you (we) already know.  WELL.  Two-and-a-half years ago, you were struggling.  But you were losing.  You were looking for help and just kept slipping.  You couldn't sleep without meds (and some of those meds were pretty bad!)  Panic attacks started.  A few months later, you couldn't work a full day or remember the names of your meds.  Parkinson's Disease was winning.  Finally, your wife and neurologist recognized the crisis.  You needed lidocaine injections, pain meds, and muscle relaxers. And you knew those could only help temporarily.

Three things brought you back from that hole.  Let's talk about two of them now, because the muscles and memory are drifting back into pain and fog.  Physical therapy and exercise WORKED.  Yes, it took more than three months of work.  Yes, you were doing your PT exercises 2 to 3 hours a day, EVERY DAY.  Yes, you laughed in your head when the doc prescribed physical therapy, so full of skepticism.  But you were desperate, willing to try anything.

Don't go back there, not even for a short visit.  You know better, so don't be an idiot.  Throttle up the engines and pull up.  Now.  Just do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. You know where you're headed if you don't.  Be mindful and not mindless.  If you really want three more years of fishing, prove you want it and invest in yourself. 

Sincerely,

The Fading Angler

Fortunately, I've recently started exercising and stretching regularly again.  April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, and I've recently been reminded that I still have Parkinson's Disease.  Lame attempts at humor aside, I sent the following on Twitter a few days back:
Parkinson's Disease took me down hard two years ago, both physically and mentally. PT and exercise brought me back. Now go fishing!
I was shocked at the number of retweets, and that there were some strong I-told-you-so's about physical therapy.  Then I remembered that I was skeptical and dismissive of PT when it was suggested to me.

I don't like being preachy, but physical therapy worked for me.  It was slow, but it worked.  If you or someone you know with PD has dismissed physical therapy as a treatment, let me add my voice: I've been there.  Keep your skepticism, but try PT before you reach the point of desperation, and give it time.  My muscles didn't really respond for about 4 weeks, and I kept getting better for 9 or 10 more.

And I'll add my voice to the exercise recommendation.  I get lazy and start sliding back.  So I'm telling myself, "Just Bleeping Do It." 

Please come back and visit again later for Part 2.  It's about sleep.  I was even more skeptical about THAT treatment...

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for documenting this, both wins & losses.
    Seems you've found a recipe that helps, I'm sure it can for others too.

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    1. If just one person sees this and thinks, "well, maybe I'll give physical therapy a try..." then something wonderful has occurred. Maybe some good can actually come from the arguments between the little voices in my head.

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  2. Dear Mr. Fading Angler, in the words of some great marketing company...Just do it! I need to take some of my own advice. I'm good at giving it out but not so good on following. We have some good reasons at home to keep on keeping on.

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    1. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that since we humans are mostly water, it's really easy to behave like an inanimate fluid. Follow the path of least resistance, let gravity drag you downhill. It's what I've learned to call "mindlessness." Water does not easily run uphill.

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  3. I salute you. It's inspiring.

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    1. Very kind of you to say so. And I'll use your complements to keep MYSELF inspired to exercise and stretch. I tend to get lazy when I'm feeling better.

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  4. Determination, and inspiration is what I gather from this read---I admire you for having both---thanks for sharing

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